October 30, 1942, Daily News Journal
Plant operated here since 1869, Razed in half an hour; Damage Not Estimated
Murfreesboro’s red cedar bucket factory, which has brought the city world-wide renown, was only a heap of ashes and charred remains yesterday, but John Patterson, one of the owning family, said the factory would be rebuilt and put back in operation again as soon as possible.
The factory, the only plant of its kind in the world, was destroyed by fire early Wednesday afternoon. Origin of the blaze, which swept the structure in thirty minutes, was not determined.
The pencil factory nearby, also operated by the Patterson family, escaped without damage, as did the boiler room, the ‘dust’ room and the oil room. Approximately 100 persons are employed in the pencil plant, but only about 18 workmen were employed in the bucket plant at the time of the fire.
John Patterson said he was unable to estimate the damage from the fire, but that it “would run into the thousands.” He said some of the machinery might be repaired, but that other machinery was available.
The ‘Bucket Factory’, or Tennessee Red Cedar Woodenware Company as it is officially known, has been in operation on Depot Hill since 1869. It’s cedar products, including all types of cedar buckets as well as pencil slats, cedar oil, have been sold all over the world.
The factory made a giant cedar bucket around ten feet high for exhibition at the World’s Fair. This bucket is still on display here. The factory also has made miniature cedar buckets which are sold as Tennessee souvenirs.